Month: November 2017

Translators, the Heroes in the Shadows of Progress City

Translator Batman

If Bruce Wayne (that’s Batman for those of you who’ve been living under a rock) had been a translator, would he still be a super hero? I know it is a weird question, but let me tell you that the answer is yes! Bruce would have founded a company named Wayne Translation Corp., TransWayne Inc. or even Gotham Translations Inc., all part of the Wayne Enterprises Group. He probably would have started out in his manor with a super computer, a whole library room full of dictionaries and Alfred serving him coffee every 30 minutes so he could get the legal translations done before the deadline for Gotham’s District Court. He also would have had to drive his Translationmobile to a Notary Public to get his translations certified and then find out that it’s going to be a very long night because Alfred called him to let him know he just got another translation job that is due at 7 a.m. the next day. Poor Bruce, I know! However, in the end it wouldn’t have mattered if he was a billionaire ninja dressed in a bat-themed suit or a graduate from Gotham’s School of Languages, he would still be a hero who people know exists but nobody ever notices. Because that’s what translators are!

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Is Faithfulness Overrated?

No matter how faithful to the original a translation could be, some experts consider that translations are always an improved version of such original.

This is one of the aspects of what is known as translational improvement which could be understood in different ways. At a superficial level, a translation improves the original text by merely enabling it to reach an audience it would otherwise fail to reach. At deeper levels, translations may improve the original text on the basis of ethical, theoretical, cultural, philosophical and/or other considerations.

But let’s focus on a more practical side of this matter!

Now, two questions that may come to mind.

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